GLENDALE, Ariz. -- For the first time in a month, Phoenix defenseman Michal Rozsival took to the ice Tuesday and skated for about 15 minutes on his own before practice at Jobing.com Arena.
Rozsival, 33, hasn't played since suffering a facial injury on Oct. 8 in the first period of the season opener at San Jose when a slap shot off the stick of Sharks winger Patrick Marleau deflected off another stick and into Rozsival's face. The facial injuries have healed, but the post-concussive symptoms have remained and Rozsival has been unable to skate for the last month.
David Schlemko has stepped into Rozsival's starting spot and played very well. The Coyotes have been carrying only six defensemen for the last two weeks and are about to head into the most daunting stretch of the season, beginning with a five-game road trip that begins, ironically, in San Jose on Saturday. Rozsival isn't anywhere close to playing, but the sight of him back on the ice was a positive step.
"He skated 15 minutes and there seemed to be no ill-effect from that, so we'll continue to ramp that up," coach Dave Tippett said. "It's hard to put any timetable on it, but it's good to see him on the ice. This has been longer that we would have thought, but when your dealing with the concussion syndrome ... I don't think anyone expected Sidney Crosby to be out as long as he has, either. Today was a positive step getting him on the ice, and we hope he can move forward."